A solar bike path: the Netherlands has one, France wants one and is looking to go one step further. With a 70 metre solar bike path having been installed close to Amsterdam, France wants build a 1,000 kilometre solar road by 2020. That’s quite an effort.
The custom-designed Wattway solar modules are non-slip, robust and just 7 mm thick. This is relatively thin for solar panels, however, the recent stress test that was run using them was more than satisfactory, with one million truck tires leaving nary a scratch during the test. This means that using protective glass disks is not necessary and the panels can be stuck direct on to the street.
The energy yield is amazing according to the developer COLAS: a one kilometre stretch of Wattway alone would be sufficient to ensure complete public lighting of a place with a population of 5,000. Imagine the power that 1,000 kilometres could generate.
Refueling for Climate Protection
The environment ministry has come up with a unique way to finance the project: increasing the gasoline tax. This will cause more pain at the pump than before however it could also perhaps lead to people driving less and, of course, supports a renewewable energy project that is in everyone’s interest. Fill ‘er up!
When it comes to climate protection and any accompanying social change, France has been leaving a lot of other countries in its wake. A law was recently passed forbidding supermarkets from throwing away food (instead, it should be recycled or donated). The country is also currently revising its waste regulations which could see it bid adieu to plastic packaging. And one more: from 2015 onwards, all new buildings in commercial areas must either have a green roof or provide facilities for renewable energy.
Find out more about Wattway via the video below or on their website.